spaghetti and meatballs with Mediterranean twist

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It's summer-time and that means that it is time for fun and satiating meals that can be made in a jiffy..

because the sun's out and the outdoors are calling... and we, my friends, must go.

Add to that the fact that it's getting wayyy too hot to spend hours in the kitchen..


a bowl of vegan spaghetti and meatballs


I hear you, therefore today's recipe is a simple spaghetti and meatballs dish - with a Mediterranean twist.

Think traditional spaghetti and saucy meatballs but instead we're making the meatballs using yellow split peas and a ton of hearty herbs and spices.

Pasta is always an easy quick go-to meal and it's one of my favorites for summer time - i mean, how much easier does it get than pasta?

The most time consuming part of this dish will be the actual spicy Moroccan 'meatballs', which you can make while the pasta is boiling because we're multitaskers righttt?

You can also make a ton ahead of time and freeze them for a later date, if you're into meal prepping.


a pan that contains vegan yellow split peas meatballs


The inspiration for this Mediterranean Pulse-filled spaghetti and meatballs dish comes from the fact that I've been wanting to find creative ways of including more pulses in my diet... and if you have no clue as to what pulses are.. keep reading friends. ↓

what are pulses?

If you've been around here for a while you might already know about my recent partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada..

But no worries if you have zero clue as to what I'm talking about.. I'll give you a quick recap.

'Pulses' is the term given to describe foods such as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and all types of beans.

More likely than not, you've been eating pulses as part of your diet for a while now.

Pulses is just the general umbrella term that includes certain legumes like the ones previously mentioned.


yellow split peas

benefits of including pulses in your diet:

I've teamed up with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to help spread awareness of the benefits of including different Pulse varieties in your diet.

Pulses are delicious, protein-packed and sustainable foods which make them an awesome choice for many dishes. They are densely nutritious (yum), affordable (woot woot), and sooo easy to make (winning!).

It is said that by simply including 1/2 a cup of pulses, three times a week, you can enjoy the many benefits of this food group. So, what exactly are you waiting for? 🙂


vegan spaghetti and meatballs

half-cup habit:

I've created this recipe with the half-cup habit in mind, which ensures that each serving of this delicious Mediterranean-inspired pasta bowl will get you at least 1/2 a cup of pulses!

You can also join the half-cup habit challenge by visiting the Pulses website and signing up via email.

You'll get awesome recipes right to your inbox that all meet the half-cup habit goal.

Also don't forget to check out my other PULSE-filled recipes - Kidney Bean Chickpea Pasta Summer Salad with an Orange Tahini Dressing anddd A delicious Smoky Red Lentil Rainbow Nori Roll.

All which meet the 1/2 cup habit. 🙂


yellow split peas vegan meatballs

back to the meatballs:

Obviously these aren't your mama's traditional meatballs... but they are a fun, and most definitely sneaky, way to include some yellow split peas into your meal routine.

I don't know about you, but I rarelyyyy consume yellow split peas. It's just not something I keep around or crave often... But I can definitely get behind this yellow-split-pea-meatball wagon and enjoy the ride.

Yellow split peas don't require soaking overnight (which is a huge time saver) and soften up in about 20 minutes of boiling time.

Once peas are soft and tender all you have to do is transfer to a food processor, add the rest of the ingredients (which are so basic you probably have most of them in your pantry) and soon enough you'll have a delicious mix to make vegan meatballs out of.


food processor with yellow split peas and mediterranean herbs and spices


With herbs and spices such as garlic, onion, parsley, smoked paprika and chilli powder.. the meat-lover in your family won't miss the meat at all with this dish.

And you can feel good knowing that you're getting in your 1/2 cup of pulses while you're at it. 😉

Enjoy it foodie fam.

Catch you next time.






Want to see more PULSE-FILLED recipes?

Check out this delicious sushi that is made with red lentils or this chickpea shell pasta salad loaded with red kidney beans.


with love + gratitude,

Jen ♥


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vegan spaghetti and meatballs made with yellow split peas

Spaghetti and ‘Meatballs’ made with yellow split peas

  • Author: Jen
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


Spaghetti and PULSES meatballs with a Mediterranean twist – scrumptious meatballs made with yellow split peas, herbs and spices made to satisfy those meaty cravings without breaking vegan. Perfect summer dish topped with tasty marinara sauce and a side of perfectly roasted veggies.


  • 18oz package of pasta (I used pasta made out of red lentils for gf option)
  • one jar of store-bought tomato sauce (My go-to brand is Engine 2)

For yellow split peas ‘meatballs’: 

  • 1 cup uncooked yellow split peas (207g)
  • 3 cups water (580g)
  • 23 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (4g)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic + onion powder (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (1g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (2g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (1g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (1g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper depending on your spice tolerance
  • 1/4 cup of olives (I used a Mediterranean mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt (2g)
  • dash of black pepper 

for roasted veggies:

  • 1 to 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 to 2 zucchini
  • 1 to 2 yellow squash
  • veg broth or oil for coating
  • pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme and rosemary.

optional spices:

  • a dash of dried parsley or dried basil to coat meatballs and pasta.


  1. Begin by preparing the pasta as directed on the packaging. Pasta will take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
  2. Mince the fresh garlic and finely chop fresh onions. Cook over low/medium heat in oil or vegetable broth until transparent and fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Roast your choice of veggies: I like to use red bell peppers and zucchini for my pasta. Slice them up, coat them with vegetable broth or oil, add a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic + onion powder, thyme and rosemary and roast in an air fryer (using the vegetable pre-setting) or roast in your oven at 425f for 15 to 20 minutes (keep an eye on them to keep them from burning). Remove once roasted and set aside.
  4. To make meatballs: Begin by preparing yellow split peas. Place one cup of peas in a medium-sized pot and add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and continue to cook on a gentle simmer with a tilted lid on top. Cook until most water has been evaporated and peas are soft, but not mushy*. The peas will still have their shape (this is okay because we will be processing them in the food processor). This may take 25 – 30 minutes depending on the heat of your stove top.
  5. Allow split peas to cool down a bit and then transfer to food processor.
  6. Add cooked garlic and onions to food processor.
  7. Add spices and chopped olives to the mix in the food processor and combine until evenly mixed. You may have to add bits of water (I added 2 tablespoons) or use a spoon to help the machine go if the mix is too dry and won’t turn well.
  8. Using your hands, roll the processed mixture into bite sized ‘meatballs’. A half-cup of mixture will yield around 3 meatballs (which equals ONE serving of pulses).
  9. Preheat oven to 425F. Bake meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until outer texture is slightly golden-brown and crispy. Set meatballs aside.
  10. Once pasta is cooked and drained – add tomato sauce to the pot with the pasta and combine. I like to add a few extra spices to my pasta here such as extra salt, garlic and onion powder, and maybe a pinch of dried basil and parsley, but this is optional for you as your sauce may have enough flavor. You can add your roasted veggies to the pasta here and mix it all up, or serve it on the side if you prefer it separately. Pasta is ready to be served.
  11. Transfer meatballs to a pan and coat with 1/2 or 1 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle some dried parsley/basil on top. Let simmer gently over medium heat. Do this just for a few minutes and then transfer sauced meatballs to pasta bowl. This not only makes the meatballs look more aesthetically pleasing, but adds an extra level of flavor by coating them in yummy tomato sauce.
  12. Enjoy your Mediterranean pasta!


  • 1/2 cup of cooked yellow split peas makes 3 meatballs.
  • 3 meatballs = 1 serving
  • Will make a total of 15 meatballs. 
  • The recipe does call for a few different spices, most of which you probably already have in your pantry, but if you are missing 1 or 2 it won’t break the recipe. Feel free to add or remove whatever in order to personalize the recipe to your needs.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

Keywords: spaghetti and meatballs, vegan, plantbased, pulses, yellow split peas,

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About Jen

A former registered nurse turned stay-at-home-mama, yoga teacher, and holistic health + wellness enthusiast. I share my homemade healthy recipes + natural living content to help women and moms live healthier and happier lives.

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